Robert James Patterson


Robert James Patterson


Bob Patterson

Robert James Patterson, of Billings, Montana, passed away peacefully at home in the early morning hours of December 31, 2019, while lovingly surrounded by family.

Bob embarked on life in Billings on January 20, 1947, and was the first son of second-generation Montanans William and Marie Patterson, and eventual big brother/partner-in-crime to Monty Patterson. He was born into humble beginnings, where the value of hard work and dedication were instilled in him from a young age, albeit spiced with a sense of humor.

As a young man, Bob enlisted in the United States Navy and served on the USS Aucilla during the Vietnam War era. Coupled with the work ethic imbued in him from his parents, Bob’s time in the Navy prepared him for a dedicated career as an electrician and, above all, to be a devoted family man.

He met his lifelong partner, Mary Roberts, on a blind date in Billings, and they married on October 3, 1970, before starting a family of their own.

His affinity for the electrical trade was kindled in a small shop in Sheridan, Wyoming, under the mentorship of his uncle, Bud Janich. It was from there that Bob worked his way up to become a certified Master Electrician, later owning his own business and eventually assuming the General Manager position at both Crescent and Wesco electrical companies in Billings. As a natural leader, Bob believed that respect was not given, but rather earned. It was through mutual respect for his employees that he led both companies very successfully throughout his tenure.

While Bob enjoyed the fulfillment of an honest day’s work, it was always family that was his true love. Bob was happiest in the simplest of moments. Whether it be making Easter pie, gathering for the holidays, riding down to Sturgis with friends, hunting in the Gravelly’s and fishing on the Musselshell with family, or watching Katelin play softball, he just enjoyed living life with the ones he loved.

Throughout his life, Bob maintained a youthful zest and sense of humor that became his trademark. Goofy nicknames, funny sayings, and often times embellished stories were the hallmark of a life well lived. His ability to find the humor in life brought joy to those around him.

Bob was 72 years young and, among many others, lives on in his wife of nearly 50 years, Mary; daughter Kristi; sons Steve and Mike (and his wife Lawren); grandchildren Katelin, Reese and Elle; brother Monty (and his partner Debbie); nephew Lee; niece Amy (and her husband Doug); brother-in-law Harold (and his wife Sally); grandnieces and nephews Amber, Cole, Caroline, Katie and Jase; cousins Donna and Jackie (and her husband Tom); and their children Brianne, Daniel, Raymond and Randy.

We would like to thank Stillwater Hospice for the loving care and support they provided for Bob and his family.

The family welcomes you to a visitation from 5 to 8 p.m. Friday, Jan. 3, and a celebration of Bob’s life at 2 p.m. Saturday, Jan. 4, both at Michelotti-Sawyers Mortuary, 1001 Alderson Ave.

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0 thoughts on “Robert James Patterson”

  1. Richard McClintock

    My condolences to Bobs family. Bob was truly a great friend and icon of a man. He will be missed by
    all that knew him!

  2. Cathy Hanstrom Conaway

    The world is short one great guy. Bob and I started the 1st grade together at Highland and graduated from West High together. He was one of the neighborhood “gang” and I have so many great memories and funny stories. To his wife, kids and brother Monty, Bob with his winning smile and great sense of humor will be missed.


    I am so sorry to read that Bob passed away, He was one of the good guys I met him while working as a buyer of electrical products at the Colstrip Power Plant and always enjoyed visiting with him. My condolences to his family.

  4. Terry and Renee Jaccaud Family

    Condolences to the Family. We did not know Bob, but Mike is a member of our extended family and we know now that his personality and integrity is a reflection of his father and family. Terry

  5. Didn’t know Bob well. But did know him & brother Monty since 1958. Can’t believe the resemblance ! So sorry for the families loss. In Phoenix for the winter or would be there for the service. Take care Monty!

  6. Bob was a mentor to me when I first started my agency in the lighting business. He gave me a chance to prove myself and my agency was a success because he supported me and the people who worked for me. He demanded good service and supported accordingly. we had a great relationship and I so enjoyed delivering that bottle of Kuala at Christmas. Lot’s of memories, and lot’s of stories.

  7. I worked with Bob at Transport Inc. Always a good time working with him. Quite a sense of humor. It was always a treat to run into him and have a quick visit. Rest In Peace my friend.

  8. so sorry to hear of Bobs passing. What a character he was. One never knew what story was going to come out of his head! We had fun during a period of spraying on popcorn ceilings and his short time at the Refinery.

  9. Shirley Yamamoto

    I was truly blessed to have Bob as one of my favorite customers in the electrical industry for 25+ years. We formed a very special and terrific bond which was like no other in my life. I looked so forward to his calls because they ALWAYS cheered me up and we shared sooo many laughs. He was a man that liked to come across as a grouch but those who knew him knew he had a heart of gold and cherished his family and friends. He was so proud of his kids and adored his grandkids.
    My love goes out to his family and friends..there is only one Bob there will be no others like him.
    Rest in peace sweet pea! .

  10. Gary and Patti Brockel

    Mary, sorry to hear about the passing of your husband Bob. Kristi, Steve, and Mike sorry to hear about the passing of your father. I knew your dad from high school and he was a fantastic person. Billings and Big Sky Country lost a wonderful man and America lost a great American. Our prayer and thoughts are with you all. -Gary and Patti Brockel

  11. James A Patterson

    My deepest condolences to Bob’s family. As cousins we spent our younger days at family gatherings and as we grew older those times began fewer and fewer. I always had deep respect for my older notorious cousin. My side of the family will truly miss Bob’s humor and straight forwardness with life. God Bless you Bob thanks for the times and memoirs

  12. So sorry t hear of the passing of Bob. I have a lot of great memories with him and Monty growing up in Billings. He cMe from a great family. He will be missed by not only me and my family but many other families in Billings.
    Your all in our prayers.🙏🙃

  13. Clyde and Susan TIPPETS

    Our condolences to Mary and Bob’s entire family. Always enjoyed our visits with Bob and Mary in years gone by. Clyde more recently connected again with Bob following his serious back surgery. Sort of lost contact again this past year but we always enjoyed him, his sense of humor, and contagious laughter. Bob was a valuable contact with his advice and knowledge of all things electrical..Our lives are richer for knowing Bob and our prayers are with his family.

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